Eli Lilly and Co reported far better second quarter earnings on Wednesday on higher sales of its prescription drugs, and raised its 2009 earnings forecast

The Indianapolis drugmaker earned $1.16 billion, or $1.06 per share. That compared with $959 million, or 88 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, when Lilly had a favorable tax rate.

Excluding special items, Lilly earned $1.12 per share. Analysts on average expected $1.02 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Quarterly revenue rose 3 percent to $5.29 billion, matching the Reuters Estimates forecast.

Lilly expects full-year 2009 earnings, excluding special items, of $4.20 to $4.30 per share. It had previously projected a profit of $4 to $4.25 per share.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Derek Caney)